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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Education Policy (PGSP11439)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryEducation has gone through several enormous transformations in the last half century, in common with public services more generally. This course investigates key trends in education policy within the UK and from a comparative perspective, the political debates which have accompanied them and the impact educational policy has had on individuals and society. We will engage with perennial questions in education policy debates: the interplay between education, the economy and democracy; the relationship between educational opportunity, social diversity and inequality; the role of the state, the market and the individual within new forms of educational governance; and the future of national education policy within an increasingly international policy field.
Course description Course content

Introduction: what is education for?
Education, skills and the economy
Education and equality - philosophical perspectives
Equality, opportunity and social mobility - sociological perspectives
Selective vs. comprehensive schooling
Culture, knowledge and the curriculum
School Vouchers
Choice, diversity and competition - policy trends in education governance
The role of the OECD in education policy
The future of national education policy

Student Learning

Each of the topics is dealt with through a lecture and a seminar discussion.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are two components to the assessment:

(1) 1,000-word policy brief (worth 25% of final marks), due by about the middle of the semester. The policy brief should be based on one of several research reports which will be provided to you by the end of the second week of the semester.

(2) 3,000-word essay (worth 75% of final marks), due by about three weeks after the end of the semester. The essay topics will be provided to you by the end of the sixth week of the semester.
Feedback Feedback is provided on the first item of assessment noted below, well before the deadline for the second assessment. The main form of feedback is through the discussion that takes place at the seminars noted in 1c.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the nature of education as a social institution
  2. analyse objectively the deeply controversial issues that provoke debates about educational policy by engaging with different points of view and empirical evidence;
  3. critically assess the importance of power in the governance of and practice of education;
  4. seek systematically to understand the relationship between education and social diversity;
  5. conceptualise the relationship between education and democracy.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Anna Pultar
Tel: (0131 6)51 1478
Course secretaryMiss Jemma Auns
Tel: (0131 6) 50 24 56
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